Can You Cut Back a Neighbor’s Overhanging Tree?

Many homeowners in Columbia, Tennessee, are undoubtedly proud of the beautiful foliage that decorates their backyards. You and your neighbors might even be among that number. However, there are instances when your neighbors might fail in proper tree upkeep and maintenance, leading to overgrowth on your property and you to wonder whether you can cut back a neighbor’s overhanging tree. Fortunately, you can avail yourself of the leading tree service in Columbia, Tennessee, by Volunteer Tree Company

We often get questions about tree upkeep services from our customers in Columbia and the surrounding areas. Here are the most usual ones we receive.

Can I cut back a neighbor’s overhanging tree?

Yes, if the branches are growing over the property line, you can take matters into your hands and cut the branches in question. Standard gardening tools make short work of small branches.

However, you will need to call in expert services for tree branches that are too large and heavy. We have the tools and experience to ensure that the job is done properly and safely. We will also clean up all the debris left behind afterward.

My neighbor’s tree looks structurally unsound. What should I do?

While you can remove branches growing over the property line without any issues, you will need an experienced tree surgeon to remove structurally unsound parts such as tree trunks or roots. If you feel that the tree poses a danger to you or your property, talk to your neighbors as early as possible about removal.

Removal of hazardous tree parts on your neighbor’s property can be a difficult discussion, especially when it comes to who will pay for removal services. Typically, the expense would be shouldered by your neighbor since it is their responsibility to ensure the proper upkeep of their trees. However, it would not hurt to have a calm discussion about this issue when you bring up your concerns. 

What are the rules for tree ownership?

The rule here is that the location of the tree trunk determines tree ownership. Even if the tree’s branches have overgrown into your property, the tree belongs to your neighbor if the trunk is on their property.

Boundary trees are those that are located directly on top of property lines. In these cases, the tree’s ownership is split equally between you and your neighbor. This means that the responsibility of upkeep is also shared equally. 

Can I claim compensation from my neighbor’s tree causing damage to my property?

The liability for damages from tree growth on another person’s property will depend on the state. In Tennessee, a property owner is liable for damages brought about by trees they own if the damage results from negligence in upkeep.   

Under Tennessee law, damages from trees are not the owner’s responsibility if they qualify as an “act of God,” such as a natural disaster, provided that the owner is diligent in regular upkeep. For example, your neighbor’s tree falls on your car during a storm, but the tree is properly trimmed, the owner of the tree is not legally responsible. 

If you are unsure, it is best to seek legal advice to understand your options for remuneration.

Contact Us Today to Learn More About Responsible Tree Ownership

Tree ownership comes with the obligation to ensure safety for you and your neighbors. It is best to take advantage of regular tree maintenance to prevent accidents that will cost you both time and money. To learn more about trimming and pruning services available in Columbia, TN, contact our team of experienced arborists.

We look forward to hearing from you!


We serve anyone in need of tree removal, trimming, stump grinding, or land clearing.

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1367 Verona Caney Rd
Lewisburg, TN 37091

Phone:(931) 637-5487


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